The rugger buggers are back, then, spreading their maxi-muscled frames across our screens like a bunch of cauliflower-eared Chippendales in nadger-nipping lycra.
Course ‘rugger bugger’ is a term we tend to aim at the chinless horse-toothed pricks who slaver into your local Pitcher & Piano in their workaday pinstripes and bray like donkeys while dropping rohipnol into each other’s pints. You can tell from a lot of what passes for banter that this is pretty much a bunch of oiks in toffs’ clothing. Thick, moneyed but not remotely vain.
'Yah he like tried to gouge out my beautiful eyes, the fucking cunt!'
‘Course that’s very much an English take on union. Your average Welshman or Kiwi sees rugby as the preserve of the working man. As indeed it is. It might also be said that of the teams that I’ve watched so far those two did the most to entertain. Having said that the All Blacks only managed it for 40 minutes – but then again that was a pretty decent 40 minutes (especially according to my missus who has decided that Dan Carter can pop it between her posts any time.)
I’m particularly impressed with Sonny Bill Williams. Not least cos he’s got over the fact that his parents obviously wanted him to be a harmonica player. His handling and ‘offloading’ (that’s knobspeak for ‘short passing’) are pretty fantastic, although any seasoned Rugby League watcher will tell you that every man is taught to fling around with that sort of dash in the 13-man code.
Wales of course did their impression of Tom Cruise at his wife’s side and came up short. Again. Defeat was followed by the habitual verbal pats on the back (‘ooh well done, Taffy old chap – good show what with you being poor and English not really being your first language, wot, wot!’) They should’ve won. They were much the better team. Hook’s kick might’ve been in (can’t they use Hawkeye? I mean it’s not like India are in the tournament is it?)
And you know what, forget Invictus – and forget how transparently pleasant Francois Pienaar is - the South Africans are still the baddies. For one, they are the holders’; for another, when they open their gobs the English language has to scurry off to a refuge home for battered vowels.
Didn’t see the Wallabies or the French – I find seven o’clock starts as agreeable as Jessie Wallace wedding day – but the most irritating bleeding aspects of the whole shebang thus far are:
1) The Scrums. Has there yet been a scrum that hasn’t had to be reset? They cave in like an elephant’s deckchair every time they engage. Play doesn’t move for ten minutes while some end-of-his-tether ref tries to get the six auditionees for Captain Caveman to just stay up long enough for the game to continue.
‘Hold! Touch! Fall On Your Faces!
Hilariously if a team finds itself unable to field a prop forward cos of injuries the scrums go uncontested. Which makes you wonder what the point of it is in the first place.
2) Running down the clock is easy. If you’re a point or two ahead with 5 minutes to go you just keep hold of the ball and flop to the floor a few dozen times and you’ve won. There’s nowt the opposition can do about it. It’s a really boring version of running the ball into the corner flag in footy. Can’t they just lose the ball if they haven’t gone forward for a couple of minutes – or summat like that?
3) The pundits. I know they’re all World Cup winners and great players in their own right but every one of ‘em looks like he’s being operated by a run-of-the-mill puppeteer. I put on my 3D glasses to watch one half-time briefing cos I was so sure I was missing at least one dimension. They make Alan Shearer look like Martin Luther King.
Oh and I might add that I hope that’s the last time we see and England rugby team wearing all black shirts. Just a shoddy, arrogant decision by a bunch of people who couldn’t give a toss about tradition. And England played like a bunch of blindfolded Sumos in it any road , so get rid.
Why so much rugby talk anyway? I hear you cry.
Well, the footy has left us with nowt to yap about. It’s business as usual in Manchester – apart from Stoke and Arsenal there’s not much about the table that’s going to change by the end of the season. And the Evertonians can protest all they like about lack of ambition and progress at the club but really all them lovely banners are saying is ‘For Chrissakes, Kenwright, you’ve been there for 7 years and you still haven’t laid your hands can on one bastard tycoon.’
'If I were you, Bill, I'd be looking at the young Iranian Ahmedinajad and failing that yer man Gadaffi must be lookin' to squirrel away a few thousand.'
I can see old Bill whoring his way around the oligarchs of the world kowtowing to anyone with a few spare dirhams like... like... well, like a Prime Minister. Or Garry Cook. Of course that chippy Manc has been relieved of his position by the FandAbuDhabi brigade. It could’ve happened to any one Garry. I’m just pleased it happened to you.
The national side may be worth a quick mention, although at the mo I’m showing as much enthusiasm for the England team as the players themselves are. I certainly don’t think that point in Montenegro is a gimme. And even Capello has finally conceded that managing this set of players has left him scratching his walnut face in utter confusion.
Poor old Rob Earnshaw (‘ooh well done, Taffy old chap – good show what with you being poor and English not really being your first language, wot, wot!’) That chance was so much easier than a sitter it was damn well prostrate.
As for who will win the Rugby World Cup – listen to the upcoming podcast!